He holds Argentinian tennis on his shoulders
Schwartzman readily admits that he is improving from year to year. He repeated it to whoever wanted to hear it: the period 25-30 years would allow him to express his potential. This moment has arrived. The very strange 2020 season has allowed him to take a big step forward in his career as a tennis player. He played his first Masters 1000 final in Rome in September, beating Rafael Nadal for the first time in his career. An extraordinary performance for him who had at best a little annoyed the Mallorcan in Monte-Carlo and Roland-Garros in 2017 and 2018.
A few weeks later, the Buenos Aires player reached the first semi-final of his Grand Slam career at Roland Garros, this time stumbling against the same Nadal. There too, he was able to pin a top 5, which is also a top 3, by offering Dominic Thiem to the best of five sets after an absolutely exceptional match in the quarter-finals. These good performances confirmed his round of 16 played in Melbourne at the start of the season. In short, at 28 years old, Schwartzman is evolving at his very best level, or not far.
Now 9th player in the world, the neo-top 10 must also carry Argentinian tennis on his shoulders. It is an even heavier task, because the South American nation is not living its best period and the outbreak of Nadia Podoroska at Roland Garros was experienced as a release. In the prolonged absence of Juan Martin del Potro, again operated on his knee last summer in Switzerland, Schwartzman is far ahead of all his compatriots in the ATP ranking. The numbers hurt: only five Argentinian players occupy the top 100. Argentina’s No.2 Guido Pella is only 43rd in ATP. The other three members of the top 100 are very far away: Juan Ignacio Londero (79th), Federico Delbonis (82nd) and Federico Coria (91st). Gray mine for the players of the Albiceleste. Schwartzman is therefore a ray of sunshine.
Its size does not complex
No big surprise here: Diego Schwartzman knows he’s not very tall. He measures 1.70m according to the ATP, but his actual height is 1.68m. But he doesn’t care. Often asked about this subject, the Argentinean is used to having to explain that he enjoys his life as a tennis player without always thinking about what can look like a handicap, especially in service, his big weak point. “It happens to me very often that I am told about it. And obviously, this has happened to me since I was very little. To compensate for that, I worked my game a lot from the baseline. I also worked a lot on my serve and other things to beat the players bigger than me. But it always has been, I got used to it“, he explained in 2017.
Always singled out for the damn size, Schwartzman has spent his life proving his critics wrong. The best of engines. “I hope that one day people can understand that tennis is for everyone, not just for the “grown-ups”. Being great can help you with a lot of things, you can serve very well and very strong. From the bottom line you can do a lot more things because you have more weapons. The arms of adults are just more effective than mine. But it does not matter. It has always been like this and I will always try to improve my tennis. I just try not to think about it.”
It was not Schwartzman who suffered the most from this major problem. It was his mother Silvana who saw many doors being closed for her son in Argentina. At 13, the doctors also announced to his son that he would never exceed 1.70m and that considering a career as a tennis player was a bit daring. Diego’s story is also a bit like that of Lionel Messi, also affected by a growth problem during his childhood. For many years, Schwartzman was blocked from achieving his dream of becoming a professional player. “He’s always been told he’s a good player, but he’s not tall enough to play at the highest level. But for sure he was going to get there. He too, deep inside, knew it. He did not take hormonal treatment because I refused him. I wanted him to do it with his own condition. With my husband, we told him that he should put in more effort and work than the other players. And that’s what he did.”
He is Disney’s new ambassador to South America
We no longer present you Disney +. Launched in the United States and the Netherlands a year ago, Disney’s streaming platform continues to expand around the world. What relationship with Diego Schwartzman? Well, the Argentinian sports the service logo on his sleeve since Roland Garros. Taking advantage of its presence in Paris, the Latin American branch of the big-eared mouse has decided to find a representative who will promote the launch of the service on November 17 in this part of the world. It is therefore a news in itself. In Paris, Nadia Podoroska took advantage of her journey to the semi-final to also get Disney + back as a sponsor.
Always interesting to report that Schwartzman has always been a good client for sponsors. Peugeot, Head, Fila: the good childish face of “Peque” appeals to advertisers. The arrival of the American giant on its sleeve is not a marketing surprise. This is pure logic and the Schwartzman brand shouldn’t stop expanding for a while. He also celebrated his Parisian semi-final with a little visit to Disneyland, Marne-la-Vallée, with his partner.
Toni Nadal advises it
Coached for four years by his compatriot Juan Ignacio Chela, the man who shaped him, Diego Schwartzman recently took advice from a certain Toni Nadal in Manacor. At the end of his very good Roland-Garros, the Argentinian went for a short internship of a few days to prepare for the season on hard indoor. The opportunity for him to receive valuable advice from “Tio Toni”, who no longer travels alongside Rafael Nadal since the end of the 2017 season. The image is striking. But this is not the beginning of a collaboration, it is more punctual.
Schwartzman travels quite often to Manacor where he has acquired his habits for several seasons. “I feel very comfortable there. I love Rafa Nadal Academy, I have been there several times already. I also love the city and it is an important part to be able to enjoy and relax.”
He’s a football madman
Diego Sebastian Schwartzman is as his first name suggests a big football fan. His first name is obviously a reference to Diego Armando Maradona. So who is he supporting? Club Atlético Boca Juniors, whose colors it exports all over the world. His relationship with football and his club is also stronger than you might think: his tennis bag is always filled with a Boca jersey, just like his water bottle. As he repeats to say, his greatest hero is none other than Juan Roman Riquelme, the former CA Boca playmaker and now president for a year. Schwartzman never misses an opportunity to celebrate his idol on social media.
Better at tennis than at football, Schwartzman did not hesitate to choose his sport. He knew where he was going racket in hand. “I always wanted to be a footballer, but I was really better with a racket“Good for him. One of his best friends is Paulo Dybala, the playmaker for Juventus and Albiceleste.